Higher demand for gasoline in January has pushed pump prices higher, as the national average gasoline price increased four cents to $2.58 per gallon for the week ending Jan. 29, according to AAA.
Most states saw pump prices rise this week — some in the Great Lakes, Central, South, and Southeastern regions by as much as nine cents.
"Compared to the first few weeks of January last year, consumer gasoline demand is noticeably higher, which is surprising giving the frigid winter much of the country has experienced this month," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokeswoman. "But demand isn’t the only factor driving prices up. Crude oil has been selling at very expensive rates the past few months. Those higher market prices are now trickling over to consumers at the pump."
Overall prices are now 10 cents higher than a month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago. For the month, Iowa's 18-cent increase was the highest. Compared to a year ago, Indiana drivers saw the highest increase at 52 cents. New Mexico's 15-cent increase was the most modest.
The largest weekly changes came in North Dakota (up nine cents), California (up eight cents), Missouri (up eight cents), Indiana (up six cents), Kansas (up six cents), Oklahoma (up six cents), Minnesota (up six cents), Mississippi (up five cents), Alabama (up five cents) and Alaska (down five cents).
The least expensive markets include South Carolina ($2.33), Texas ($2.34), Alabama ($2.35), Mississippi ($2.36), New Mexico ($2.36), Arkansas ($2.37), Arizona ($2.37), Missouri ($2.38), Louisiana ($2.40) and Tennessee ($2.40).
Meanwhile, the average price of diesel increased 4.5 cents to $3.07 per gallon, which is 50.8 cents higher than a year ago.